As we inch closer to the official introduction of Android’s next big update, rumors have, like clockwork, begun to pour in abundance. Today, however, a new report by Bloomberg reveals a bunch of details we frankly were not expecting. As per sources, Android P will bring a series of significant changes to the operating system, most of which are designed to persuade more iOS users to switch.
The report mentions that Google has revamped Android’s status bar for being compatible with phone designs inspired by Apple’s iPhone X. A range of Android manufacturers has already launched smartphones featuring the “notch” on the top such as the Essential Phone. Despite the search engine’s continues efforts, iOS still accounts for the majority of the premium smartphone market globally but with Android P, it hopes to change that. The goal, according to people familiar with the matter, is to make it easier for OEMs “keep up with similar Apple technology.” This could essentially mean more edge-to-edge phones with cutouts on the top for housing modules such as the selfie camera, components for advanced facial recognition, and more.
In addition to that, Android P will also allow developers to integrate Google’s virtual assistant into more deeper parts of their apps for enabling hands-free control. While there are not a whole lot of details available on this, we can expect an implementation similar to what Samsung offers with Bixby — the ability to execute actions in third-party apps by just talking to your phone. Battery life will be one of the key highlights as well, although we’re not sure what exactly Google will be paring down this time.
Moreover, Google might include native support for foldable displays as well with Android P. The report also says it will be compatible with “multiple screens” which could possibly mean a Continuum-like feature for stock Android. Of course, all of these updates will be limited to just a handful of Google’s own line of phones for at least a year. Android Oreo, which was rolled out last year, still represents only a minuscule share of the entire Android market.
Android P, which internally is being called Pistachio Ice Cream, is also expected to dramatically revamp how the operating system looks and functions. Incidentally, Google had announced a bunch of updates to its homegrown Material Design a few weeks ago. The company will be officially unveiling Android P later this year on May 8th. Although we should have the developer preview months before that, perhaps sometime in March itself.